Variations on the Boilermaker

Craft beer and craft spirits can work amazingly well together. These three recipe variations are just a few combinations worth trying and then building upon.

 

HOW 'BOUT THEM APPLES!?

Keep an eye out for the current seasonal from the Big Ditch Brewing Company in Buffalo, a cinnamon apple amber ale. Rochester's Black Button Distilling similarly uses only fresh-pressed New York state apple cider in its Apple Pie Moonshine, made also from pure unaged corn whiskey, real infused cinnamon and vanilla, as well as a little brown sugar.

 

THE RUMBAUGH

Enchanted Mountain Spirits Distillery in Jamestown is making Mama Juana — which should excite travelers who've tasted the elixir in its home place of the Dominican Republic. A mix of rum, red wine and honey, Mama Juana gets its trademark flavor from being bottled with native tree barks and herbs. Enchanted Mountain will be making a honey rum, which they plan to blend in-house with a New York state wine, but the liquor will also work on its own as a solo spirit or with a beer back.

Distiller Mick O'Neill recommended a rich, dark lager like Negra Modelo — a Dunkel-style brew with little bitterness or hop finish. I chose Flying Bison's Rusty Chain, similarly a Vienna-style lager with soft, malt flavor and caramel notes.

 

THE RUSTBELT BOILERMAKER

The pairing of like with like is as simple and straightforward as it comes, yet most times yields some of the best results. In Westfield, NY, Five and 20 Spirits and Brewing is on its third batch of rye whiskey and also brews a solid and well-rounded rye pale ale.

Rye is the spicy counterpart to American bourbon, and with both their whiskey and brew, Five and 20 has balanced the peppery grain flavor of rye with the sweet and softer notes of vanilla and caramel.

By / Photography By Nick Dean | September 14, 2017

Ingredients

How 'Bout Them Apples!?
  • 1 can or draft Big Ditch Cinnamon Apple Ale (6.8% ABV)
  • 1 ounce Black Button Distilling's Apple Moonshine (20% ABV)
The Rumbaugh
  • 1 bottle Flying Bison's Rusty Chain Vienna-style lager (5% ABV)
  • 1 ounce Enchanted Mountain Spirits Distillery's new O'Connor's Mama Juana Rum (40% ABV)
  • Option: Swap the beer for a deep, rich red wine or snifter of tawny port.
The Rustbelt Boilermaker
  • 1 bottle Five and 20's Rye Pale Ale (6.2% ABV)
  • 1 ounce Five and 20's Rye Whiskey (45% ABV)

Instructions

1. Decant the desired ale or lager into a glass.

2. Pour an ounce of appropriate spirit into a whiskey tasting glass or other oversized shot glass.

3. Nose each of the two beverages and sip from one and then the other, alternating.

4. Pour the remaining shot of spirits into the glass of beer — or pour in a fresh ounce — and enjoy.
 

Ingredients

How 'Bout Them Apples!?
  • 1 can or draft Big Ditch Cinnamon Apple Ale (6.8% ABV)
  • 1 ounce Black Button Distilling's Apple Moonshine (20% ABV)
The Rumbaugh
  • 1 bottle Flying Bison's Rusty Chain Vienna-style lager (5% ABV)
  • 1 ounce Enchanted Mountain Spirits Distillery's new O'Connor's Mama Juana Rum (40% ABV)
  • Option: Swap the beer for a deep, rich red wine or snifter of tawny port.
The Rustbelt Boilermaker
  • 1 bottle Five and 20's Rye Pale Ale (6.2% ABV)
  • 1 ounce Five and 20's Rye Whiskey (45% ABV)
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